Open Access Helper (Safari / Chrome Extension), Open Access Helper (iPadOS & iOS), and https://www.oahelper.org/ are a free service, available to you at no charge.
I do my very best to limit the amount of data collected to the absolute bare minimum. In this document I will outline what, how and when I do something.
Information Collection and Use
Safari (macOS), iPadOS & iOS
The app keeps a count of Open Access Searches, Open Access Found, core.ac.uk PDFs, the current number of Bookmarks (etc). Prior to July 2020 it was possible to select to share this data with me, but this functionality has since been removed and I have no plans to reinstate this feature. The data is still collected (locally) and displayed for your information only.
The app does not keep track of the number of Open Access Searches, Open Access Found (etc).
For the app to function the following APIs are utilized (based on your preferences / settings):
If you enable the CORE Recommender feature, the app will request recommendations via this server (oahelper.org). The data submitted will be the title of the paper, the abstract, the URL and DOI. There is no unique device id or anything that could identify you personally. My server will obtain the recommendation from core.ac.uk and then respond to the app. In case the server has processed a recommendation request for this document (based on DOI) within the last seven (7) days, it will serve the recommendation from cache. This is done to speed up.
For the purpose of this website, I set some basic WordPress related cookies, and I collect normal server logs (Apache).
Within the Apache Logs your IP Address has been treated, so that the last octet is removed (e.g. 220.127.116.11 will turn to 18.104.22.168).
Furthermore Apache Server logs contain information submitted by your browser, such as Operating System, Browser & Version, language preferences, date and time…
This site is hosted on a virtual private server at Linode, LLC. As of 30. January 2021 this server is located in Linode’s Frankfurt (Germany) data center.
Document Delivery Forms
A small number of libraries host a custom document delivery form at oahelper.org.
These forms request limited personally identifiable data and they are processed on oahelper.org to generate an E-Mail to the library. Oahelper.org does not store the form data submitted, but will generate an E-Mail to the library with your details, where the data will be processed.
oahelper.org is hosted at Linode LLC Frankfurt Data Center, the E-Mail service used for sending your request is maintained by 1&1 IONOS SE, Montabaur, Germany.
In order to protect your library from unwanted, machine generated submissions, the forms can (this is configurable) include Google’s ReCAPTCHA service. If this is enabled you will be shown a box “I am not a robot” and you might be challenged to further verify that you are human. Please see https://policies.google.com/privacy?hl=en-GB for further details.
Please inquire with your library about alternative ways of submitting a request to them – I am certain they will be able to provide you with an appropriate path – and kindly disable the Ask the Library feature, should you not wish to use this feature.
Other General Notes
Additionally the macOS app will follow every link returned by these APIs to determine, whether you might already be at the final hosting location. This happens within the extension (app) itself. However each node in the redirect, will see your IP Address. This is not done on iOS.
If you send me an E-Mail it will be forwarded to GMAIL and is kept and stored there.
Only Apache Server Logs are created and only when you visit this website, the app itself does not communicate usage information to me.
As outlined already, the DOI is sent to unpaywall.org / core.ac.uk / openaccessbutton.org to be resolved and an Open Access version to be found.
Please see information about information collection and use above. A sample log entry looks like this. Kindly remember that the last 0 in the IP is the anonymized IP mentioned further above:
22.214.171.124 - - [04/Nov/2018:13:34:36 +0100] "GET /oahelper HTTP/1.1" 301 553 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_14) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/12.0 Safari/605.1.15"
Up to Version 2020.5 (macOS) and 2020.4 (iOS):
For users, who elected to share usage data with me, once a month data that is similar to this will be submitted.
|id||oa found||oa serach||core pdf||bookmark count||recom count||recom view||uid|
You will find that the above includes a UID, this uuid is a privacy conscious unique device id, issued by iOS upon developer request. Imagine two apps on your iOS device, both requesting a uuid, they would be given different uuids.
As you will have notice the data represents basic integers only, they don’t give any indication as to who you are, what you searched for or viewed. They simply provide a crude meassure of usage and will help future feature development.
As of Version 2020.5 (macOS) and 2020.4 (iOS / iPad OS) this data is no longer collected.
This site uses WordPress and WordPress typical cookies are set.
With any questions, you can reach me at:
Am Hergert 1
info [at] oahelper.org